More than 1.3-million of SA’s children aged between three and five are not attending any form of early learning programme and only 45% of those who do are reaching key milestones, the basic education department told parliament on Tuesday. There is no data available on the unmet need for the 3.5-million children aged two or younger, it said.        

Early childhood development (ECD) programmes are vital because they lay the foundations for future learning and help prepare children for primary school. Yet the sector is deeply under-resourced and fails to provide support to many of SA’s most vulnerable children, said basic education department acting director for ECD Janeli Kotze...

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